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Track-by-Track Review: Troye Sivan’s Emotional Pop Journey in Bloom

Track-by-Track Review: Troye Sivan’s Emotional Pop Journey in Bloom


Though sometimes mellow to a fault, Sivan's latest is admirable and honest. 

The seed that was planted almost a year ago has finally sprouted and blossomed with Troye Sivan's new album, Bloom. The Australian pop singer keeps the tone of his 10-track sophomore record mellow, with an almost equal split of slow and up-tempo songs. While this lends itself well to a thematic sound, it causes some songs to get lost in the shuffle if you aren't deliberately listening for them.

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Though Bloom is a strong effort with a cohesive story, the extended rollout model that currently pervades the industry was not kind to it. Releasing such strong singles like "My My My!" and "Bloom" months ahead of the full album built a hype that is almost impossible to live up to a la Katy Perry with Witness. The album is an ode to the spectrum of feelings associated with love and a relationship, but we wish Sivan would feel a little more. Lyrically, almost every song has the potential to make listeners tear up, but the delivery makes it feel like Sivan is still afraid and wary of allowing himself to experience the full brunt of his emotions.

Track 1: "Seventeen"

Starting the album on a bit of a somber note, the narrative of Bloom begins with a lesson learned. Every teenager thinks they're an expert on the intricacies of love, and Sivan is no exception. "I went out looking for love when I was seventeen, maybe a little too young, but it was real to me," Sivan croons, and listeners learn that the growth on Bloom won't be in any single direction.

Track 2: "My My My!"

From admitting he started chasing love at too young an age to being completely gone on someone, pairing these tracks perfectly illustrates how quickly our emotions can shift from one extreme to the other.

Track 3: "The Good Side"

In this folky ballad, Sivan is post-break up and handling the fallout of the failed relationship better than his ex. Though empathetic and supportive, he can't help that he no longer feels the same way about their connection. After thanking the song's subject for teaching him how to love, Sivan slowly distances himself as the vocals fade to lonely instrumentals.

Track 4: "Bloom"

Yes, we know the titular track is about sex. And yes, once you know that, the lyrics become even more blatant, but the song can also be experienced on multiple figurative levels. Personalities can bloom, creativity can bloom, relationships can bloom. With this track, Sivan has re-learned how to open himself up to someone.

Track 5: "Postcard" (ft. Gordi)

Gordi's soft, lilting voice balances well with Sivan's sometimes-smoky tenor on this ballad about being treated like a postcard - a catalyst for a fleeting good memory but insignificant in the grand scheme of things and easily set back down.

Track 6: "Dance to This" (ft. Ariana Grande)

Any feature with Grande immediately has its expectations set astronomically high. Though it's not a bad song, it's no banger. After each artist's soft-sung verses, one could easily expect a soaring chorus, but the song (and album's) mellow tone stays steady.

Track 7: "Plum"

Obviously written after Sivan watched the peach scene from Call Me By Your Name on repeat, "Plum" uses a fruit basket's worth of analogies on one of the album's unreleased standouts. Though the song is about accepting that not all relationships last, the upbeat delivery promises of a hopeful outlook.

Track 8: "What A Heavenly Way to Die"

Maybe a little too true to its name, this slow track feels like a surrender. Whether Sivan is completely blissed out or has completely given up, his vocals remain soft and almost monotone despite the intense feelings that could empower lyrics like, "What a heavenly way to die, what a time to be alive, because forever is in your eyes, forever ain't half the time I want to spend with you." If Sivan is grieving, he's made it to the acceptance stage.

Track 9: "Lucky Strike"

There's a lot to unpack in Bloom's penultimate track. The song's tempo belies the unhealthy comparison of a lover to cigarettes. "Tell me all of the ways to love you," Sivan croons over and over, searching for a way to understand the potentially addictive and unhealthy relationship. Though the song finds itself grouped with the album's more up-tempo tracks like "My My My!" and "Bloom," "Lucky Strike" still has some growing to do.

Track 10: "Animal"

Sivan closes Bloom with an emotional admission. "I want you all to myself, don't leave none for nobody else, I am an animal with you," he sings, realizing that, for better or worse, this love is inescapable. "No angels could beckon me back, and it's hotter than hell where I'm at, I am an animal with you."

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